[PSYCH FOLK] "Jackie-O Motherfucker?" an old-school Portland friend of mine recently remarked over the telephone. "Jesus Christ, I mean who's even in that band anymore?"

It's a valid question, considering that even Wikipedia lists the local free(k)-folk unit as having "more than 40 rotating members." I arrived a little late (missing opener Dragging an Ox Through Water), having been distracted by a pre-show Christmas present from a Californian (Humboldt County, wink wink) friend. You gotta love this town for packing the house at what may be the most undanceable show so far this winter. New Weird, New Beard and even the Nicely Fashionable were all in attendance.

Jackie-O's latest incarnation—fronted by the band's only constant: lanky centerpiece Tom Greenwood, whose onstage presence comes across as somewhere between Arto Lindsay and Thurston Moore—played two extended (and, oh, I mean extended) numbers, both beginning in spooky Americana-based blues and culminating in a (wait for it...) Total Psych Meltdown. In between the songs' creaky, haunted rocking-chair folk inceptions and explosive conclusions there were extended soundscapes that employed everything from Hawkwindian frequencies, space anthems and double-mic'ed moans to kraut robotniks and blissed-out noise.

Neither jam was from JOMF's latest slow-burner, the sublime Valley of Fire—recorded by Portland jazz-noise artist Adam Forkner, a.k.a. White Rainbow, and released this fall on France's Textile Records. It was an apt tease, though, as those whose curiosity was piqued by the show should be delighted by Fire: It's worth buying the whole album just to hear the group's seriously sweet reimagining of the Beach Boys' "A Day in the Life of a Tree."

"We wrote both of the new tunes on the road," Greenwood told me after the performance, mere minutes before Seattle's mighty Earth hit the stage and lowered everyone's heart rate by half with its patented slow-motion, codeine melodics. I had to ask: "So how many people have been in and out of [Jackie-O Motherfucker] since 1994?" He smiled. "Oh, who knows?" he offered, clearly amused. "Sometimes there's been up to 15 people on stage, some of whom I didn't even know." He paused again before settling on "an infinity." Here's to an infinity more.